Maxime Vachier-Lagrave will go into the final day of the open rapid event of the Tata Steel Chess India tournament as the only unbeaten player. But the top-seeded Frenchman is just half a point ahead of his nearest rival -- Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan – with three rounds remaining.
Vachier-Lagrave is on 4.5 points from six rounds. Behind the second-placed Radjabov (four points) are four players, three of them Indians – R. Praggnanandhaa, Vidit Gujrathi and D. Gukesh. Russian Alexander Grischuk is the odd man out in that pack.
Another Indian in the field, P. Harikrishna, looked understandably disappointed after drawing his long game with Vincent Keymer. He had been well placed to get the full point against the German prodigy, who hit headlines recently after scoring a stunning win over the World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen in a World Cup game at Baku.
Like Harikrishna, it hasn’t exactly been a fine tournament so far for Arjun Erigaisi, who was the best player at this event in the last couple of years. They are languishing at the bottom of the table.
Vachier-Lagrave has done well to be alone at the top at the moment. He began the day with a win against Keymer and then drew with Gukesh. He finished with a victory against Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan.
The results (sixth round, Indians unless specified):
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